June Medical Newsletter

By Brandie Erickson June 28, 2023 Medical School Admissions Consulting Newsletter

As students applying to medical school finish up submitting their primary applications to AMCAS and AACOMAS in June, it’s time to look into the PREview exam. PREview is a professional readiness exam created by the Association of American Medical Colleges. 

While some schools may require PREview, other schools may favor the original professional readiness exam, Casper, developed by a third-party company. Both exams seek to test the same fundamental principles, including ethics and social skills, however the PREview exam is in a multiple-choice format while the Casper is an open-response format with both typed and video response answers. 

Not all schools require situational judgment tests, however each year more schools rely on them to recruit students mentally and emotionally prepared to become doctors. Medical schools aren’t the only ones requiring them either; BS/MD, dental, physician assistant, and veterinary schools also look at these scores. 

Although the test makers would like you to believe you can’t study for these exams, that’s not true. Just like standardized exams including the SAT and ACT, there are tried and true strategies that can help students get into the minds of the test makers and ace their exams. Put your best foot forward by taking the PREview practice test and reading the rationale for the answers at the end to identify the recurring patterns in the answers. Keep reading to learn how Moon Prep helps their students prepare for Casper.


Other Supplemental Exams

The parent company that hosts Casper, Acuity Insights, also offers the Duet assessments. Duet is meant to compare an applicant’s value in a program to what a program has to offer. As the assessment is based on personal preferences, there are no right or wrong answers. While Duet is oftentimes not required but optional, Moon Prep students are always encouraged to complete optional items to show their work ethic and initiative.


Think Strategically

Summer is a great time to engage in activities and passion projects that may otherwise be too time consuming during the regular school year. Learn about volunteering, research, shadowing and more ways to build a competitive BS/MD resume while using the summer time to your advantage.


New in the 2024 AMCAS Application

Allopathic medical school students applying through AMCAS should be aware of the changes to the primary application this cycle:

  • An optional field has been added to indicate an upcoming PREview test date

  • “Social Justice/Advocacy” has been added as a category on the Work/Activities section 

  • The essay titled “Disadvantaged Status” has been replaced with a prompt for “Other Impactful Experiences”

  • Pronoun label options for gender identity have been updated

  • “Conduct” and “Academic” categories have been added to the drop-down for the Institutional Action question 


Get Ahead

Time is your most valuable resource in the application cycle. Even the best of applicants may be denied admission if they wait too late to submit their primary or secondary applications. Although June is too early to receive any requests for secondary essays, it is the perfect time to begin pre-writing your responses. Secondary applications are best submitted one to two weeks after receiving them. Although schools may list a deadline as late as November, most secondary applications should be submitted by August at the latest to have a shot at securing an interview invitation. Because most medical schools have a rolling admissions process, the further into the season there are simply less spots to offer, creating higher competition.


Start Early

Minimize your competition by starting early. To submit high quality work when barraged by schools requesting five to eight additional essays, prepare a rough draft of frequently asked prompts ready to be personalized for each school. 



Acuity Insights (formerly Atlus Suite) recently announced changes to the upcoming 2023-2024 Casper test cycle. While the content of the Casper exam will test the same principles (collaboration, communication, equity, ethics, empathy, motivation, resilience, professionalism, problem solving, and self-awareness), the format will shift slightly. The first section will be all video responses to four video-based scenarios and two word-based scenarios, while the second section will be all typed responses to five video-based scenarios and three word-based scenarios, separated by an optional 10 minute break.

Once you have your medical school list finalized, don’t forget to check if any of them require the Casper exam by checking the list in our Forbes article or checking your schools’ websites. 

If you’re not feeling fully confident in this situational judgment test, listen to one of Moon Prep’s experts walk through sample responses to secure the score you need to be competitive or schedule with us today to get the one-on-one coaching you need to feel confident. 

Get inspired by reading our latest Forbes article about three students’ journey to medicine at Kaiser Permanente Bernard J. Tyson School of Medicine.


Required by many medical, dental, and BS/MD programs, the Casper (Computer-Based Assessment for Sampling Personal Characteristics) is designed to assess what type of student you are beyond your resume and transcript. Learn how to prepare for Casper. 



June 17: The University of the Incarnate Word School of Medicine Preview Day

June 21: New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine Virtual Information Session

June 24: West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine Open House


New Medical School Buildings

With medical school interviews remaining largely virtual, keeping tabs on which schools have the most state-of-the art updated facilities can help students choose which medical school they feel they may thrive best at. 

This summer the University of South Alabama will tear down two buildings to make space for the new Frederick J. Whiddon College of Medicine building, slated to open in 2026.

East Carolina University is also planning the construction of a medical education building to add on to the existing Brody School of Medicine. Plans are still underway and no completion date has been set yet. 

The University of North Carolina has made progress with construction of their new medical education facility, Roper Hall, which began in 2020 and will open for the use of the incoming medical school class in fall 2023.

In east Texas, University of Texas Tyler broke ground for a new medical education building, with the goal of expanding access to healthcare in rural parts of Texas. The new medical school will accept its first first class in fall 2023 while the new building itself will open in 2025.

The William Carey’s University of Osteopathic Medicine will also expand its medical campus with a new Institute of Primary Care designed to train student doctors and residents to serve rural Mississippi. 

The construction of the new college of medicine building at Duquesne University in Western Pennsylvania is nearing completion for its opening in fall 2024. The Catholic college of osteopathic medicine has pre-accreditation status to begin recruiting its goal of 85 students next fall.  

Arizona State University commits to plans to open a new medical school, known as ASU School of Medicine & Advanced Medical Engineering, likely located in downtown Phoenix. ASU President Michael Crow states they are in the earliest phases of conceptualization with no concrete timeline for construction yet.

Moon Prep is proud to announce a newly-designed research opportunity with Rising Researchers! Students have the opportunity to work one-on-one on a customizable research project with our expert research mentors. Students work virtually while still performing cutting-edge research under the guidance of a research mentor. Our research mentors are experienced in the direct medical and traditional medical admissions process and will guide students on how to showcase this unique research experience. The goal is to give these ambitious students an edge by adding advanced research, data analysis, and a publication to their resumes.

Here’s what you need to know:

How long is the program? 10 sessions, completed over a 4 month period.

When does it start? Projects can begin at any time, even during the school year. Students can register in advance to secure their spot with a research mentor of their choice. 

Who is this program for? Our students are rising 9th graders through college students.

What is the end result? Students work with their research mentor to complete a research paper and poster, ultimately resulting in publication in the Rising Researchers Journal.

What is the curriculum? The project is fully tailored and customizable to each student, but we do have a syllabus of course objectives. 

No other research experience available offers the level of close mentorship and project guidance as our research mentors. Schedule your complimentary session today to learn more about the details of adding a Rising Researchers research project to your child’s college resume. 

Want one more reason to join Moon Prep? Now, our rising seniors have a direct medical college application “boot camp” included in their Moon Prep experience! This summer, our rising seniors will be attending sessions covering the intricate BS/MD application process, including strategies for the medical-focused essay questions. Over seven sessions, students will get a valuable head start on their college applications and essays in a structured, supportive environment. Students receive eBooks, templates, and sample essays to help guide them through the application process. 

Application iQ is an experience like no other and will help guide students (and parents) through the complete BS/MD application process. 

Here are the details:

When does the program start? Every Wednesday (7/19 – 8/30), 7:00-8:30p ET/4:00-5:30p PT. It is 7 weeks long – meeting 1x a week 

What is the investment? Free (live sessions), Paid (offline editing of essays)

Free: Moon Prep students can attend the live sessions for free. Sessions are via Zoom, interactive, and will assist students in getting a head start on their applications and essays in a structured environment

Paid: After each session, students will receive homework and work independently on drafts of their essays. All students are paired with a counselor/essay coach when they sign up. The offline essay edits/feedback will be billed at the hourly rate at sign up. 

What topics are covered? The course syllabus and learning objectives can be found here

Current Moon Prep students can register here.
Not a Moon Prep student yet? Schedule a complimentary consultation to learn more about our affordable services.